FIFA drops plans for 48team 2022 World Cup

first_imgLausanne: FIFA shelved a proposed expansion of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams, dealing a blow to the world football body’s president Gianni Infantino. The 2022 tournament in the Gulf state will now be played with 32 nations taking part. FIFA said it had abandoned the expansion plans “following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process” which led to the conclusion that “under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now”. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun “(The tournament) will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June,” FIFA said in a statement. The expansion was a pet project of Infantino, who pushed the idea despite the likely need for Qatar’s neighbours to put aside a two-year blockade and help to host an expanded tournament. “The involvement of these countries in the organisation of the tournament jointly with Qatar implies the lifting of this blockade, in particular the lifting of restrictions on the movement of people and goods,” said a feasibility study submitted to March’s FIFA Congress in Miami. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up The study, seen by AFP, also claimed that a Qatar World Cup with 48 teams would generate “between 300- 400 million (265-354 million euros) of additional income”. Specifically FIFA was counting on an additional 120 million in TV rights, 150 million in marketing rights and 90 million from ticket sales. The news comes after Europe’s top football clubs said in March they would boycott an expanded 24-team Club World Cup — also backed by Infantino — which is planned to take place in June and July 2021, replacing the Confederations Cup tournament. – Complicated proposition – =========================== An announcement of the final decision had not been expected until next month’s FIFA Congress to be held in Paris ahead of the women’s World Cup that takes place in France between June 7 and July 7. FIFA said it had examined the possibility of Qatar hosting a 48-team tournament on its own, but a study “concluded that due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June”. FIFA has dropped the plan to expand the 2022 tournament despite recommending in March that the number of teams should be raised to 48 for that tournament, ahead of the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Expanding the competition for the 2022 tournament was always a complicated proposition. FIFA had sounded out potential co-hosts in the region willing to support Qatar, a complicated proposition for Doha which is subject to an ongoing embargo by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies. Qatar’s Supreme Committee, charged with the organisation of the tournament, said in reaction to FIFA’s decision that “Qatar had always been open to the idea of an expanded tournament in 2022 had a viable operating model been found and had all parties concluded that an expanded 48-team edition was in the best interest of football and Qatar as the host nation.” But it said there was insufficient time to make a deeper assessment before the June deadline and “it was therefore decided not to further pursue this option.” “With just three and a half years to go until kick off, Qatar remains as committed as ever to ensuring the 32-team FIFA World Cup in 2022 is one of the best tournaments ever and one that makes the entire Arab world proud,” the Supreme Committee said. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut all ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting Iran and Islamist groups. Qatar vehemently denies the charges and says Saudi Arabia and its allies are aiming to incite government change in the emirate, the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas. Gulf states Kuwait and Oman have not taken sides in the crisis. However, Oman said in April it was “not ready” to host matches.last_img read more

Read More →

New books to choose from

first_imgWhat’s cricket got to do with helping leaders overcome the mental and other blocks they often face? Plenty, it would seem. Then, also examine the work of an award-winning poet that mediates on our follies in the world as humans. And finally, ponder over how caste still thrives in post-liberalisation India. Here is the variety of options listed. Read on! ‘Leader’s Block – How Great Leaders Recover After They Stumble’ by Ritu G Mehrish For cricket lovers, here is an interesting analogy, writes ‘executive coach’ Ritu G Mehrish, who, in her most recent role, has run a multi-million dollar business vertical with 1,000 people across eight countries and five continents. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressive”When a batsman is out of form, he tries to block the ball instead of hitting big shots. He spends time on the pitch till he gets back into the groove. At times, we need to do exactly that till we get back into our zone,” Mehrish writes. This might ring true in the Western world, but how practical is the concept in the Indian context. Plenty, Mehrish contends. “We are dealing with people and they are same everywhere. Having worked across the world (including India), one thing that I have learnt is that it’s all about human connections. As a coach I meet leaders from different nationalities and different companies and its fascinating to see that there is always a common thread in the issues and challenges they face.” Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back pain ‘Rituals’ by Kiriti Sengupta Kiriti Sengupta, who has been awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize (2018) for his contribution to literature, is a poet, editor, translator, and publisher from Kolkata. In his 10th work, he explores themes such as nakedness and depravity to point to the fraility of the human race through striking imagery that mark the passing of time. Consider this poem titled “The Unclad God”: “There was a time I wanted to see naked people.” “Women – for obvious reasons.” “Nude men affected me in many ways./Every time I saw them/I became conscious of myself/followed by a comparitive check./If mine was shorter/I’d run to my workplace/and read a memo to myself./It said size had nothing to do/with female orgasm. Bare men reminded me/of my unkempt body hair,/how I had to trim and oil/to make it healthier. “I don’t look at unveiled people anymore./It’s either my age or hormones./I now look beyond the flesh, bone and keratin. “I’ve been told/the finer body dwells undressed.” Then, there’s this prose-poem titled “Jesus”: “How would a husband look in the eyes of his wife whose four-year-old daughter has been sexually abused by a male teacher in the school where she goes to play and learn? O teacher, how would you palpate the anatomy of your wife, I’ll bet, only to raise a complaint on her chastity? But then, it’s the world at large that believes in sex and how it spices up life or love, to be honest!” ‘Caste As Social Capital – The complex place of caste in Indian society’ by Professor R Vaidyanathan Many consider caste as an outdated institution, but it thrives in post-liberalisation India. The establishment and running of businesses tap into caste networks, both in terms of arranging finance and providing access to a ready workforce. In the book, Vaidyanathan examines the working of caste through the lens of business, economics and entrepreneurship. It interrogates the role caste plays in the economic sphere in terms of facilitating the nuts and bolts of business and entrepreneurship.last_img read more

Read More →

PM Modi assures all help to Kamal Nath

first_imgNew Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi on Thursday. Nath gave his good wishes to Modi on assuming the office of Prime Minister for the second term. During the half-an-hour-long meeting with the PM, Nath discussed in detail about the various issues pending with the Centre at different levels for approval and thereby funds not being released to state government. The MP CM also urged the PM to intervene in the matter and get the pending issues cleared and fund released to the state at the earliest. However, the PM assured the Nath that he will instruct the concerned ministries to clear the pending issues and disburse the funds as early as possible. Modi further assured of all possible help to the state in future also.last_img read more

Read More →

Winners of bypolls take oath of secrecy

first_imgKolkata: Eight MLAs who have won in the by-elections, took the oath of secrecy on Wednesday.Biman Bandyopadhyay, Speaker of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, administered the oath of secrecy. Partha Chatterjee, minister of Parliamentary Affairs, was also present. Of the eight MLAs, four belong to BJP with three from Trinamool Congress and one from Congress. The BJP MLAs are Neeraj Tamang Zimba from Darjeeling, Joyel Murmu from Habibpur (ST), Ashis Kumar Biswas from Krishnagunj (SC) and Pawan Kumar Singh from Bhatpara. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe Trinamool MLAs are Abdul karim Chowdhury from Islampur, Idris Ali from Uluberia east and Sahina Mumtaz Begum from Nawada in Murshidabad. Saiful Alam Khan from Congress, who was elected from Kandi in Murshidabad, also took the oath of secrecy. The ministers and MLAs became visibly embarrassed after Idris Ali shouted Joy Bangla slogan after the oath of secrecy was administered, while Joyel Murmu of BJP shouted the Jai Sri Ram slogan. The Speaker ordered both the slogans to be deleted from the record. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersBefore administering the oath, Bandyopadhyay had asked all the new MLAs to read out only the oath given to them and say nothing extra. There was apprehension that like the Lok Sabha, where the MPs had shouted Jai Sri Ram and Jai Bangla after taking the oath, the MLAs will follow along the same lines. Bandyopadhyay reprimanded Ali for flouting his instruction and ordered that both the slogans by Trinamool Congress and BJP MLAs will be deleted from the records of the Assembly.last_img read more

Read More →

AAP MLA Jarwal alleges he was shot at by criminal

first_imgNEW DELHI: AAP legislator Prakash Jarwal alleged that an illegal liquor supplier fired three gunshots at him on Wednesday during the inaugural event of a water pipeline in Sangam Vihar in south Delhi. Police denied the claim. Jarwal, who represents Deoli in the Delhi Assembly, said the incident occurred at 10 am when Rajesh Sahashi fired three rounds at him and threatened him with dire consequences while he was inaugurating the pipeline on Sangam Vihar Bandh Road. The police said they had not got any written complaint from the MLA. Jarwal alleged that the accused was chasing him for some days and police had taken no action despite his requests for security. “My life is in danger. I will formally lodge a complaint with the police,” he told the media. Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Kumar said: “The firing was not reported in CCTV footage collected from the spot.”last_img read more

Read More →

India successfully testfires 2 quick reaction surfacetoair missiles

first_imgBalasore (Odisha): India successfully conducted two back-to-back flight tests of its state-of-the-art quick reaction surface-to-air missiles (QRSAM) against live aerial targets from a base in Odisha on Sunday. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the two missiles from the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur near here. “Two missiles were tested against two live targets meeting complete mission objectives of engaging the targets. QRSAM, with many state-of-the-art technologies, engaged the targets at different ranges and altitudes,” an official statement said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The entire mission was captured by various electro-optical tracking systems, radar systems and telemetry systems. The all-weather and all-terrain QRSAM system has been developed for the Army, with search and track on the move capability having a very short reaction time. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated the DRDO on achieving the significant milestone, the statement said. “The systems are equipped with indigenously-developed phased array radar, inertial navigation system, data link and RF seeker,” it said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe missile, which can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister, is equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars, defence sources said. QRSAM uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km, the sources said. The first trial of the QSRAM was conducted on June 4, 2017, they said. On February 26, 2019, two rounds of trials were successfully carried out on the same day. The two missiles were tested for different altitude and conditions. The test flights had successfully demonstrated their aerodynamics, propulsion, structural performance and high manoeuvring capabilities, the sources added.last_img read more

Read More →

CISF kicks off water conservation plan

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) on Monday kicked off the Water Conservation Plan and inaugurated the new CISF residential complex in Rohini. Director-General Rajesh Ranjan also flagged off the CISF expedition to Mount Satopanth. The CISF has been appointed as the nodal agency among CAPFs for initiating awareness about water conservation, and this campaign’s main objective is to make the general public realise the benefits of water conservation. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRanjan also flagged off a motorcycle rally to promote the water conservation plan along with a mass tree plantation drive to bring awareness about the renovation of water bodies, harvesting rainwater, and reuse of wastewater. More than 500 school children took part in the tree plantation drive along with CISF officials and DG Ranjan. Speaking at the event, he emphasised that it is the new generation that has to come forward and join the campaign for saving water and making India greener. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsIn order to provide accommodation to the force personnel of DMRC Unit, 1298 quarters at Rohini Rohini Sector 34-35 have been purchased from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Various facilities such as mess, medical, gyms, crèche, canteen, and a children’s park are provided in this residential complex. In addition, the CISF is planning to purchase 261 acres of land in Mandwar village of Gurugram, to build residential premises for CISF personnel. As far as the Satopanth expedition is concerned, the CISF attempt to summit the 7,075 m peak is a practice run for its maiden attempt to undertake the Mount Everest expedition. The Satopanth expedition is expected to condition the team for the Everest climb.last_img read more

Read More →

Cheating caseBuilder DSKs brother detained at Mumbai airport

first_imgMumbai: Pune-based builder D S Kulkarni’s brother Makrand Kulkarni, an accused in a Rs 2,000 crore cheating case, was detained at the Mumbai airport on Tuesday when he was about to fly to the US, police said. Pune police in May last year filed a charge sheet against D S Kulkarni, also known as DSK, his wife and others for allegedly cheating nearly 33,000 depositors and investors of nearly Rs 2043.18 crore. Makrand Kulkarni is also an accused in the case and a look out notice was issued against him by Pune police earlier, since he was on the run after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a court. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “Based on specific information, a team of Mumbai police on Tuesday detained him before he could take a flight to the US,” a senior police official here said. The Mumbai police personnel later informed their Pune counterparts about Makrand Kulkarni’s detention. A team of Pune police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) subsequently left for Mumbai to take him into custody, he said. “After completing formalities of his arrest, Makrand Kulkrani will be produced in a Pune court later in a day,” the official said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K According to a complaint filed in 2017 by one of the depositors, Jitendra Mulekar, investors put in lakhs of rupees in a deposit scheme of DSK Developers, but they neither received the interest nor the principal amount for months. The EOW earlier booked Kulkarnis under various provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act, and Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention). Around 15 people have been named as accused in the case and 10 of them have so far been arrested, including DSK and his wife. A charge sheet was earlier filed by police against DSK and his wife, who are currently lodged at Yerawada jail in Pune, the official said.last_img read more

Read More →

Man arrested for raping minor in Odisha

first_imgJajpur (Odisha): A 51-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping a minor in Bari area of Odisha’s Jajpur district, police said on Saturday. The accused, a neighbour of the nine-year-old girl, lured her with chocolates before taking her to his house in Ratnagiri area under Bari block on Thursday, a police officer said. “The man took her to his house where he raped her,” said Chakrabarty Kanhar, Inspector In-Charge of Bari police station. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The girl, who had become unsonscious for a shortwhile, returned home and narrated the incident to family members, who then took the minor to the District Headquarters Hospital here. Based on a complaint lodged by her family members, Bari police conducted a raid on the house of the accused and apprehended him on Friday, they said. The man was arrested under different sections of the IPC and the POCSO Act.last_img read more

Read More →

Azad stopped at Jammu Airport sent back

first_imgJammu/New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was stopped at the Jammu airport on Tuesday and sent back to Delhi, a party leader said, the second time in a month the former chief minister was not allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir. “Azad sahib had arrived from Delhi at around 2.45 pm and was not allowed to move out from the airport and forcibly sent back in a return flight to Delhi at 4.10 pm,” state Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma told PTI. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was not allowed to go home or attend the party meeting at state Congress headquarters either, Azad’s close aides said. The Congress leader will return back to Delhi in the evening through a GoAir flight. Earlier on August 8, Azad was briefly detained and sent back from the Srinagar airport after the administration imposed restrictions following the Centre’s move to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate it into Union territories. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “It is unfortunate that he (Azad) is not allowed into his home state in the past two weeks,” Sharma said. “He is the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, member of Rajya Sabha from the state and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.” The Congress spokesperson said Azad just wanted to come and meet some people to know about the prevailing situation. “Denying him permission shows that how the mainstream national party is not being allowed to interact and discuss the current situation,” he said, adding that the Congress and its leaders were not “trouble-makers” that the state was behaving like this.last_img read more

Read More →

Nushrat is no more a Punchnama Girl

first_imgMumbai: While it is tough to leave a mark in the minds of the audience when one is part of an ensemble cast, Bollywood actor Nushrat Bharucha managed to do so in the multistarrer film, Pyaar Ka Panchnama. Although she had done a few roles before that, her performance in that film became her calling card, so much so that people started recognising her by her character in that film rather than her real name. As the actor gears up for her new film Dream Girl opposite Ayushmann Khurrana, she hopes people know her name, so that she can get rid of the tag of ‘Panchnama Girl’ for good. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”Initially I was taking the tag of ‘Panchnama girl’ sportingly but then I realised that people called me by that name more than my real name! Thankfully after the success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, things have changed,” Nushrat said. While she had no problem with the tag, she said: ” I wondered why would people only call me the ‘Panchnama girl’ where as there were two more girls in the film! Did they only remember me and Kartik and not the rest? However, I am happy the way things have panned out now.” In Dream Girl, Nushrat plays the love interest of the protagonist played by Ayushmann. Directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa, the film features Annu Kapoor, Vijay Raaz and Rajesh Sharma, and is scheduled to release on September 13.last_img read more

Read More →

Left leaders not called by CBI ED as they are not involved

first_imgKolkata: Two days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged in Assembly that only the Left Front is unaffected by the central probe agencies as they have an understanding with the BJP, the CPI(M) on Sunday hit back by saying that only the Trinamool Congress leaders are being called for questioning as “they are involved in corruption”.”Those involved in scams and corruption are being called by CBI and ED for questioning. Left leaders are not being called as they are not involved in any such scams,” senior CPI(M) leader Biman Bose said on the sidelines of its anti-war rally in Kolkata on Sunday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja On Friday, Banerjee had raised the chit fund scam issue in the Assembly. “There is no political party in the country, except the Left, which is unaffected by the investigation agencies. This is because they must have a certain understanding with the BJP. Chit funds started in 1980s, during the Left rule (in West Bengal). We have arrested the accused.” She went on to ask, “When was Channel 10 started? It didn’t start in our tenure. When did Rose Valley scam start? All began in Left’s tenure,” she said.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Read More →

Leaving home Growing number of NL outports make wrenching choice to resettle

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Raymond Blake can still see his mother, a strong woman raising six kids alone after his father died, dissolve into tears as the schooner pulled away from their home in remote southern Newfoundland.It was a Monday in July 1969. They were leaving all they’d ever known in Pushthrough, a tiny fishing settlement of 150 people, for a new start across the water in comparatively modern Hermitage.“The next thing you know, I was crying and my brothers were crying. I didn’t quite know what was really going to happen,” Blake recalled.“I’ll never forget my mother leaving her home.”The same scene of wrenching loss played out countless times through the 1950s and ’60s as communities agreed, as part of a government push to centralize workers and services, to abandon cherished villages for larger places.Resettlement is a word that to this day conjures intense, very mixed emotions in Newfoundland and Labrador.Still, sparsely populated outports, where many argue the heart of this province beats strongest, are emptying at a quickening pace — although not fast enough for those who question government costs.Seven communities with names like Great Harbour Deep and Snook’s Arm have relocated since 2002, including three since 2016. Another three — North Boat Harbour, La Poile and Little Bay Islands — have asked the province to consider moving them.The process is community driven — permanent residents must vote at least 90 per cent to relocate. Municipal Affairs calculates whether it’s cheaper to move them than provide services over 10 to 20 years.If approved, the province offers homeowners $250,000 to $270,000 depending on the size of the household to help them set up elsewhere.Relocating those seven communities has saved government about $30 million so far, said Municipal Affairs Minister Andrew Parsons. And more are considering moving to be closer to health care as the province of just 528,000 people ages, he added.“When you’ve got to get in that boat and go along the coast just to get access to medical appointments, and as you get older you need more and more of those, it just becomes more trying,” Parsons said.“Given the fact that we’ve had three in the last three years, there’s no doubt I think that you’re seeing a greater examination of the possibility (of moving) by these communities, and there are more that have expressed interest.”Many residents hate to leave the places where they were born and raised but also want to be close to children and grandchildren who’ve long ago left.“It’s tough. It’s an emotional process.”Before politics, Parsons was the lawyer who acted for residents in Grand Bruit, meaning “big noise” for the waterfall that cascades down its cliffs, as they resettled eight years ago.“This is a decision that they make but that doesn’t make it a positive one, or one that they’ve relished or enjoyed. It’s one, in many cases, that’s driven by necessity.”Parsons represents the Burgeo-La Poile district in southwestern Newfoundland. He often travels by boat along the isolated coast between Burgeo and Grey River, past the lonely remnants of long deserted outports.“It’s amazing seeing these graveyards that are still there and, in some cases, houses and huts,” he said in an interview.Larry Short, a chartered accountant and investment advisor in St. John’s, says today’s resettlement incentives are a “Band-Aid solution.”Provincial finances were hammered when the price of oil crashed in 2014. It now has a daunting overspending problem as net debt hits historic levels. Yet, Short says there’s a glaring lack of will to right-size government budgets.“Nobody really wants to talk about it because the political cost is too high,” he said in an interview. “I’d much rather that the province addressed it before the mainland bankers close in.”Short is among those calling for tough decisions about what services government can afford, along with more tangible plans to attract and keep young workers in the province.It’s an emotionally fraught but crucial and overdue conversation, he said.Blake knows better than most the complexities of resettlement.Moving to Hermitage wasn’t all bad, he said. There was better schooling and running water.“The flush toilet was something that I was fascinated with.”But resettlement for his family and many others — even with some government financial help — was traumatizing, he said. He and his brother have written to the premier and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for an apology.“Communities did have to agree and there was compensation but it really wasn’t a choice at all. Many had to go because everyone else was going.“It’s a story about a generation.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

Read More →

Regulator renews TV licences imposes roadblocks for shutting local stations

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada’s big TV ownership groups will have to jump over new hurdles if they want to shutter any of their local TV stations, according to licence renewals granted Monday by the country’s broadcast regulator.Station owners will have to give 120 days notice of an intended closure, during which time the regulator will open the proposed shutdown to public hearings, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in issuing five-year licence renewals for the major TV conglomerates.The process could result in the regulator denying permission for closing a station, said a CRTC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. However, there are no guarantees that a station earmarked for going off the air would remain open, the official acknowledged.“This is essentially something that is a safety net of some sort to ensure that we receive advice and that we be in a position to actually consult Canadians by our usual means,” the official said, noting that none of the broadcasters appearing before the regulator in the last year proposed station closures.The public would be consulted through open hearings and social media if a closure were to be proposed, the regulator said.However, it wasn’t clear how public concerns over a proposed shutdown would be weighted against a TV group’s financial pressures.During hearings last year into the viability of local TV, the CRTC was warned that nearly half of the country’s local stations could be off the air by 2020 without a boost in revenues to pay for local programming.Like other media players, conventional, private TV stations have seen revenues decline over the past decade. And many stations that are holding their own for now could close over the next few years, potentially costing nearly 1,000 jobs, said a report jointly prepared by the consulting firm Nordicity and communications lawyer Peter Miller.The CRTC also announced Monday that TV stations owned by large English-language groups will be required to air six hours per week — three hours in smaller markets — of so-called “locally reflective news and information” as part of their overall commitments to broadcast 14 hours of local programming in larger markets and seven hours in non-metropolitan communities.The TV groups must also spend a minimum of 30 per cent of gross revenues on Canadian content, with 11 per cent set aside specifically for local news and information, said the CRTC, a requirement that was unchanged from the last time licences were renewed.Officials said the regulator will monitor news broadcasts, and will require annual reports from stations, to verify that the requirements are being met.The new requirements are part of licence renewals for Bell Media Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc., and Rogers Media Inc., as well as French-language Groupe TVA and Groupe V, which take effect in September.The regulator also issued a call for applications for a national, multilingual multi-ethnic television service, saying there is “an exceptional and immediate need” for programming to serve Canada’s ethnically diverse communities.At the same time, it approved an application by Rogers in the interim to operate such a service under the name Omni Regional as a mandatory distribution channel.“Canada’s ethnic and third-language communities do not have access to enough news and information programming in multiple languages from a Canadian perspective,” CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.“By approving the licensing and mandatory distribution of Omni Regional, we are addressing a pressing need.”Officials, however, said Omni Regional’s licence was limited to three years over concerns that the service proposed by Rogers wouldn’t fully meet the needs of Canadians.Still, Rogers appeared content with the decision.“Canadians will get access to quality multicultural and multilingual programming no matter where they live, and Omni Television will receive a stable revenue source to build a strong voice for all ethnic audiences,” said Rogers Media senior vice president Colette Watson.— Follow @tpedwell on Twitterlast_img read more

Read More →

3 Toronto cops sexually assaulted colleague after rookie nightCrown

first_imgTORONTO – Three Toronto police officers sexually assaulted a parking enforcement officer two and a half years ago when they had non-consensual sex with the woman at a downtown hotel after a night of partying, Crown prosecutors alleged Monday as a trial for the trio got underway.Joshua Cabero, Leslie Nyznik, and Sameer Kara, all constables in the same division, have each pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault in connection with the alleged incident.In opening arguments that highlighted the evidence expected in the case, Crown attorney Mabel Lai said the alleged assault took place between 12:20 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2015.“The Crown will allege the three defendants variously engaged with intercourse and oral sex without her consent,” Lai said. “That will be the crux of the Crown’s case.”The accused and the complainant — who cannot be named due to a standard publication ban — had been out partying with others as part of a “rookie buy night” where rookie officers buy drinks for the veterans, Lai explained.One of the officers, Nyznik, had booked a hotel room at the Westin Harbour Castle, Lai said.All three accused officers began the night around 6 p.m. at a bar called the CC Lounge and Whisky Bar with other men, court heard. Shortly before 9 p.m., the female parking enforcement officer arrived at the bar, court heard.The group then moved to a different bar, Pravda Vodka House, before one of the officers had to return to the hotel room because he had vomited, Lai said.The two remaining male officers and the complainant later went to a strip club before ending up at the hotel around midnight, court heard.There is agreement that all four were alone in a hotel room, according to admissions filed in court, the Crown said.“The dispute is about what happened in that hotel room,” Lai told the court.The complainant left the hotel room at 3:30 a.m. and texted a friend about the alleged sexual assault 13 minutes later, Lai said.Nine days after that, Det. Sgt. Jeffrey Attenborough, who received a complaint from the female parking officer, began investigating.He testified that he visited the complainant at her home along with forensic officers who seized some of her clothing from the night of the alleged assault, including a bra and shirt that were sent to the Centre for Forensic Sciences.DNA evidence that includes semen found in the complainant’s genital area and around her neck, along with semen found on her shirt and bra, will be part of the Crown’s case, court heard.The trial was also taken through surveillance video of the three officers and the complainant at various points before and after the alleged incident.Court saw video of a wobbly Kara returning to the hotel around 10 p.m. being helped by another man. Court also saw footage of Nyznik, Cabero and the complainant enter the hotel around 12:12 a.m.In security footage near the elevator at that time, the complainant appears to be smiling. There is also video of the complainant leaving the hotel around 3:30 a.m. and getting into a taxi, while video shows the three officers leave the next morning shortly after 9 a.m.Nyznik’s lawyer, Joanne Mulcahy, took great pains showing that video from some parts of the night, including time spent at Pravda, and some clips from the hotel, was not part of the evidence.The trial is taking place before a judge alone.last_img read more

Read More →

Hamilton Fringe Festival posters with feminist and LGBT themes defaced

first_imgHAMILTON – Posters advertising Hamilton Fringe Festival shows with LGBTQ and feminist themes have been defaced with Bible verses condemning homosexuality and female independence.On Saturday afternoon, festival organizers posted a photo on Twitter of posters for the show “S.C.U.M.: A Manifesto,” a satire about Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who shot Andy Warhol.In the photo, the faces on the poster are obscured by stickers containing lines from the Book of Romans about women’s inferiority to men.The festival’s Twitter post asked for help in identifying the vandal.Posters for “Les Mouches Fantastiques,” a show about a gay magazine published in Montreal between 1918 and 1920, were also covered with stickers, these ones condemning sexual relationships between men.Hamilton city councillor Matthew Green posted a video to Twitter on Sunday morning denouncing the defacement and expressing support for the artists and audience members affected.Green urged the vandal to “stop that nonsense, please.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had the incorrect name of the show and the wrong dates of when Les Mouches Fantastiques magazine was published. The story also erroneously said the magazine was illegal.last_img read more

Read More →

Soulpepper allegations spur boycott talk among actors patrons

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto’s renowned Soulpepper Theatre Company underwent a shakeup Thursday with several resignations and calls for a boycott in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations against founding artistic director Albert Schultz.Early Thursday, Soulpepper co-founders Ted Dykstra and Stuart Hughes and fellow artists Michelle Monteith and Rick Roberts said they were stepping down in solidarity with four actresses who have filed lawsuits against Schultz and the company.By Thursday evening, Schultz had also resigned and Alan Dilworth had been appointed acting artistic director.“While this has been a tremendously difficult chapter in Soulpepper’s history, today’s decision ensures the organization is able to move forward with confidence and remain a leading Canadian theatre company,” Soulpepper said in a statement.The four women allege the 54-year-old Schultz exposed himself at work, groped them, and otherwise sexually humiliated them. The allegations have not been proven in court and Schultz said in a statement Thursday that he would “continue to vigorously defend” himself, adding that he resigned “in the interest of the future of the company.”As the women discussed their allegations at a news conference in Toronto, others in the theatre world vowed to support them any way they could — starting with a boycott.“It’s the only effective way that we have to show our support for women coming forward. We have to put it in action,” said playwright Erika Reesor, who is based in Hamilton and co-facilitates the all-female playwriting initiative Feminista.“As an audience member, I won’t go see any shows produced by Soulpepper, and I don’t mean just until this court thing is resolved. It is my intention to put my money where my mouth is.“And as an artist, I won’t myself work with them and I won’t encourage other artists to work with them.”But Dr. Katherine Siminovitch, chairwoman of the board of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, countered that it would be a mistake to rush into a damaging boycott of the 20-year-old institution, which she called “probably one of the foremost theatre companies in the country.”“It’s given employment to hundreds of directors and actors and stage designers. It’s quite a brilliantly successful enterprise,” Siminovitch said, adding that Soulpepper’s board or directors “acted very quickly and I think they took the steps that were needed to deal with what is allegations right now.”Founded in 1998, Soulpepper is billed as Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre company and North America’s only year-round repertory company.For its 20th anniversary this past summer, Soulpepper staged its first season of work in the U.S. in an off-Broadway engagement. Productions included “Kim’s Convenience,” which was adapted into a hit CBC-TV comedy series.Soulpepper had also been working on a “national civic theatre” that would take its work to other communities in Canada.One of the four women who filed suit, Hannah Miller, acknowledged Thursday that she struggled with the prospect of Soulpepper’s reputation being damaged by her allegations.“The implication that we are ruining something is maybe the reason why it’s so hard (to speak out),” she said.Tatha Swann of Levitt LLP, one of the lawyers representing the four women suing Schultz, said she expects “there’s going to be a huge impact on (Soulpepper’s) production, and I think this is something that has to happen in order to send a message.”“What we hope to see is that (Schultz) is removed from his role and that Soulpepper does an internal cleaning, that they put in policies that have teeth and enforce them to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Swann said at the morning press conference.Stephen Paskey, a theatre lover and law professor at the University of Buffalo, has seen several shows at Soulpepper in the last two years and also pledged to boycott the company as long as Schultz is on the payroll.“It’s wonderful, it is a fabulous resource not just for the city of Toronto but for everyone who visits,” he said prior to the announcement of Schultz’s resignation. “It really has been one of my favourite theatre companies.”Paskey called the allegations “incredibly disheartening and maddening,” noting he “believes that the women are being truthful about the incidents that they have described.”Reesor said she feels strongly about her boycott but doesn’t want to see Soulpepper go under. She wants an overhaul of the board.“I want Soulpepper to thrive again. We need companies like Soulpepper for artists in this country,” said Reesor, who is also hoping to see a regulating body created for the theatre world.Hughes also hopes Soulpepper will survive.“I would hope that the theatre returns to the ideals that are positive there and that the workplace becomes an environment where people can speak freely about their fears and concerns,” he said.“We hope that it continues in good health.”last_img read more

Read More →

We will not forget Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

first_imgFREDERICTON – An emotional afternoon in Fredericton has drawn to a close, although last Friday’s tragedy still hangs over the New Brunswick capital after a regimental funeral was held for two constables killed in the line of duty.Thousands of police officers and first responders attended the service held at a local arena Saturday afternoon for constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns.Loved ones, colleagues and dignitaries spoke at the ceremony, and a common theme was woven into every speech: the kindness and compassion of the fallen officers.Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch’s voice shook as she described her time working with Costello and Burns, who were killed last Friday in a shooting that also left two civilians dead.“When we sign up to serve and protect our city, we are committing our entire life’s work to this service,” Fitch said, adding that the two officers died as heroes.“Their deaths have created a ripple effect that stretches out as far as the ocean is deep.”Burns’s husband fought back tears as he delivered a powerful speech in which he asked the surviving Fredericton officers not to feel any guilt about his wife’s death.“I want each and every one of you to know that she is at peace, and knows that you did everything you could to protect her,” he said.“Don’t burden yourself with the ‘why,’ because you won’t find the answer.”Burns asked that those in attendance pay their respects to the two civilian victims, Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud, as well.“Their families are grieving no less, and their lives are just as important,” he said.Burns’s tie and pocket square were yellow, his wife’s favourite colour, and matched the yellow roses placed on top of her casket.Greg Morris, a family friend of Costello, said the fallen officer took great pride in his work and had described being a police officer as his lifelong passion.Morris said Costello was a kind and compassionate friend who loved his mother, once spending days by her side while she was in the hospital.Costello also loved basketball, Morris said, adding that while his friend was never the most skilled player, he was the most selfless and was always willing to do anything for his team.But the most important thing in his life was his family, he said.Addressing Costello’s daughters, Morris said, “Kassie and Kaitlyn, your dad would be so proud of the remarkable women you’re becoming today…. He loved you both very much.”Several dignitaries attended the funeral, including New Brunsick Premier Brian Gallant, Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau and Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien.Roy-Vienneau said she was fortunate to have met both Burns and Costello, and she was struck by their passion for their work.She said Saturday’s ceremony was both a time of great sadness and a time to honour all police officers and first responders.“The men and women in police uniforms constantly demonstrate the highest levels of courage, resourcefulness, initiative, and willingness to go above and beyond, often putting themselves in harm’s way,” Roy-Vienneau said.“While we all wish for a different outcome, I promise we will not forget the sacrifices made in the line of duty.”At the beginning of the ceremony, officers laid the caps and belts of the fallen constables on top of their caskets, which were covered by Canadian flags, next to the roses placed there by family members.The flags were later carefully folded and given to Costello and Burns’s families.The service began with a heart-wrenching bilingual rendition of “O Canada” by award-winning singer Measha Brueggergosman, a Fredericton native. That was followed by a smudging ceremony with sweetgrass, performed by St. Mary’s First Nation Elder Imelda Perley, to honour the officers’ transition from “Earth walk to spirit walk.”Before the funeral began, 1,500 officers and first responders marched through the streets of Fredericton for a funeral procession, while hundreds of people lined the route.Rain poured from the sky during the parade, mirroring the gloom that has taken over the city of nearly 60,000 people.“The rain in our city today represents the tears of sadness and grief that flow from our hearts brought about by the terrible and senseless loss of these two heroes we dearly love,” Fredericton police chaplain Rev. Verner Drost said at the ceremony.The parade included a band, several police motorcycles, and Grimsby, a light grey, 10-year-old police horse co-owned by Burns and fellow Fredericton officer Const. Stefan Decourcey.The lives of the two civilian victims were also honoured this week by their families and friends.A public visitation was held Wednesday evening for Wright at a funeral home near Woodstock, N.B., although her obituary said there would be no funeral service by request and her internment would be held at a later date.Similarly, no funeral was held for Robichaud.His widow, Melissa Robichaud, told The Canadian Press that he had requested to be cremated and that she planned to scatter his ashes Thursday evening along a strip of road the avid motorcyclist had often biked along.Forty-eight-year-old Matthew Vincent Raymond has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting, and is set to appear in court on Aug. 27.On Friday, a judge lifted a publication ban that had been imposed on court documents revealing details about how the deadly attack unfolded.Monday’s ban came hours after several media outlets had already reported on what the documents contained.The now public documents say the accused gunman was wounded as he allegedly exchanged gunfire with another officer from his apartment window.— With Alex Cooke in Halifax.last_img read more

Read More →

One year to election Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate

first_imgOTTAWA – Twelve months from now, Canadians will pass judgment on the Trudeau government and decide whether its first mandate should be its last or if it deserves another four years.As the one-year countdown to the next federal election on Oct. 21, 2019 starts ticking, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals appear reasonably well positioned to win a second term.But a year is a lifetime in politics and the coming one promises to be particularly challenging for the Liberals, beset by a growing phalanx of hostile conservative premiers determined to put a spoke in Trudeau’s pre-election wheel.In particular, they’re aiming to upend the introduction of a carbon tax — one of Trudeau’s signature policies, the central pillar of the Liberal plan for combating climate change.It’s the next big thing on the government’s agenda and it’s the pivotal issue upon which Liberal strategists privately believe the next election will turn. It’s a fight they think they can win.A recent Angus Reid Institute poll suggests they have reason for optimism.It suggests half of what the pollster refers to as “maybe” Liberal voters — soft supporters of opposition parties who can be persuaded to back the governing party — agree with Trudeau on the need for a carbon tax. With his categorical opposition to carbon pricing, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer risks alienating soft Tory supporters.At the same time, half of those maybe-Liberals also support Trudeau’s insistence on expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline to carry Alberta’s oil sands bitumen to B.C.’s coast for shipment overseas — the flip side of the Liberal climate plan, aimed at demonstrating the prime minister’s contention that protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand in hand.Hence, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s staunch opposition to the pipeline project “is a considerable liability” with soft New Democrat supporters, the polling firm concludes.The online poll of 1,500 Canadians was conducted Oct. 3-8.Overall, it suggests more Canadians are open to voting Conservative than any other party but, at the same time, those open to voting Liberal are the most enthusiastic.“I would say that for now, if managed carefully and properly, it does look as though, of the three leaders, Justin Trudeau does appear to be heading into the next election cycle from a place of more strength than either of his opposition counterparts,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute.“Trudeau’s base is fired up, excited by and very much approving of his job and his performance as leader. “By contrast, Scheer and particularly Singh remain largely unknown quantities to many voters, she added.That said, the poll also suggests that the Liberals are vulnerable on two particular issues: their management of the influx of irregular border crossers and their failure to deliver on Trudeau’s promise to run modest deficits and return to balance by the end of the first mandate.Kurl notes that the next campaign will get underway in earnest during the summer, just when another wave of asylum seekers could be pouring over the border from the U.S.“Every time the Conservatives talk about this issue, it is one that resonates across the political spectrum,” she said.But University of Waterloo political scientist Emmett Macfarlane notes that the summer could also see more forest fires, flooding and extreme weather, all symptoms of climate change. And that could tip that balance against the Conservatives and their strategy of allying themselves with anti-carbon tax premiers.“It has as much potential to backfire as to succeed,” he said.At the moment, Macfarlane believes the Liberals have “a lot of reasons to be fairly confident” heading into an election year.The economy, he notes, is humming along nicely, unemployment is at four-decade low and voters generally don’t turf a government under those circumstances — although Quebec voters did just that earlier this month.Moreover, Macfarlane suspects the government will get credit for emerging relatively unscathed from the year-long tumultuous NAFTA negotiations with mercurial U.S. President Donald Trump.Liberal strategists contend Trudeau will be able to go into the next campaign having done what he promised to do in 2015 — with a few notable exceptions such as balancing the budget and reforming the electoral system.According to the TrudeauMeter, a non-partisan, collaborative citizen initiative that attempts to track the progress Liberals have made on keeping their election promises, Trudeau has kept 70 promises, 68 are in progress, 42 have not been started and 41 have been broken.But on some of the big ticket pledges, Trudeau will boast that he has delivered some truly transformational changes to Canada in a short time: legalizing medical assistance in dying, legalizing recreational cannabis, turning the Senate into a more independent, less-partisan chamber of sober second thought, lifting some 300,000 children out of poverty through the enhanced Canada Child Benefit.If the carbon tax goes according to plan, he will add setting the stage for the transition to a low-carbon economy to that list.Compared to the more managerial approach of Jean Chretien’s and Stephen Harper’s governments, Macfarlane said: “This is a fairly active government on a number of big files.”last_img read more

Read More →

Is it time to kill To Kill a Mockingbird

first_imgAn Ontario school board is taking a hard look right now at the use of To Kill A Mockingbird as the text that starts the race discussion. It’s old, sure, which isn’t a problem. But it’s also a book about race written by a white person, with a white protagonist and a white man as its hero. So, when parents of black teens raised concerns, the board said it would look at changing the books it uses to spark class discussions on racism. As you may imagine, the idea of removing Harper Lee’s novel, which finds itself at or near the top of many all-time lists, didn’t go over well with everyone.Which books should we use to teach our kids about racism and other sensitive subjects? If it’s a modern topic that is directly relevant to the lives of many students in the class, why is a 60-year-old book the place to start the conversation? How should teachers and school boards prepare lesson plans in a city and country that values multiculturalism? And who determines whether a book that many consider one of the true classics of literature gets removed from the curriculum of a class supposedly dedicated to teaching exactly that?Audio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_1029.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Read More →